Egyptian court says prez elections as scheduled

Egypt`s Higher Administrative Court overturned lower court`s decision to suspend the prez polls, which meant the historic vote will go as scheduled.

Cairo: Egypt`s Higher Administrative Court overturned on Saturday a lower court`s decision to suspend the presidential elections set to be held on May 23 and 24, which meant the historic vote will go as scheduled.

The Administrative Court of Banha ordered on Wednesday to suspend the presidential elections, alleging the Higher Presidential Elections Committee doesn`t have the right to mobilize voters.

The higher administrative court said that the presidential elections law gives this right to the presidential elections committee, official MENA news agency reported.

The same court also annulled another ruling which suspended the elections committee`s decision to refer a political isolation bill targeting officials linked to former regime over past ten years to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The constitutional court has the jurisdiction to review the political isolation law if the law is referred to it, said the higher court.

The two verdicts cleared the way for the polls.

A total of 13 candidates will run in the elections. Opinion polls show former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa, and former Muslim Brotherhood senior member Abdel Monem Aboul Fotouh are among the leading candidates. They were followed by former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and Mohamed Morsi, chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Analysts say no one could win more than 50 percent in the first round. The run-off will be held on June 16 and 17.
The vote is the first after ex-President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February last year amid 18 days of mass anti-government protests. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has since been in power for the transition, will hand over power by June 30.